Atlanta Sex Crimes Attorney
A conviction for a sex crime can have a devastating effect on a person's life, leading not only to the risk of prison but also significant public stigma. Being convicted of a sex crime in Atlanta carries the possibility of mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender that will extend the punishment long after a person has paid their debt to society. Kimberly Berry and our other sex crime lawyers in Atlanta understand there is much at stake when charged with a crime of this nature. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.
Georgia has a large number of sex crimes, and they range from crimes against children, rape, pimping, pandering, sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery. With a wide variety of crimes, it is critical to hire an attorney experienced in criminal defense and Georgia sex crime laws. Kimberly Berry has years of experience representing defendants accused of sex offenses and has developed a wide array of arguments to protect your rights.
Defenses to Sex Crimes in Georgia
Many defenses can counter a sex charge in Atlanta. There are both technical defenses as well as holistic defenses that your Atlanta Sex Crimes Attorney will explore. Some of the legal justifications for sex crime charges are outlined below, but there are many more Georgia Criminal Defenses that could apply to your case. Call for a case evaluation and see what the best arguments are for your situation.
The most basic defense is a claim of actual innocence. The suspect can argue that they could not have committed the crime because they were in a different location at the time the alleged crime took place. This is known as presenting an alibi. In order to mount an effective defense based on alibi, the accused must support the alibi with credible evidence that establishes that they were not with the victim at the time the crime took place.
Another defense the accused could claim is that the victim misidentified them as the perpetrator. With any defense, evidence must be presented in support of the claim. For mistaken identity, DNA evidence could accurately and reliably establish whether the accused was present at the crime scene.
The prosecution has the burden of proving that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if the defendant can raise a reasonable doubt as to whether they actually committed the crime, the jury should return an acquittal.
Consent is an additional defense to sex crimes. The accused may admit to the behavior in question but argue that permission from the alleged victim negates the charges.
In some cases, consent is impossible to prove. When the alleged victim is less than 16 years of age, the court says they are incapable of understanding the sexual nature of the behavior, and therefore, it is impossible for them to consent to the action.
Statute of Limitations
One of the most important defenses is that the case is filed within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations protects the defendant from having to defend himself or herself from the alleged criminal activity so far in the past that the basic facts have become obscured by the passage of time. If the defendant is not formally charged before the statute of limitations has expired, then prosecution for that offense is barred by law. It is always important to make sure the SOL has not expired.
Creating Reasonable Doubt by Establishing Accuser Motivation
In cases where there is a jury trial, it is critical to investigate the motives of an accuser. The motivation can help create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors and lead to an acquittal if successful. We have seen several motives when people make false claims of sexual violence. They include:
- Divorce and Child Custody Disputes. Divorce proceedings are complicated and often fraught with emotions. Parents do not want to lose custody of their children and sometimes, do not even want their children to see the other parent. Therefore, a parent may falsely accuse their spouse of sexual abuse in order to gain an advantage. This is so common that a google search will unveil numerous articles, books, and research dedicated to this topic.
- Revenge. Another reason a person may falsely accuse someone is to get revenge. For example, if the defendant embarrassed, disrespected, or dismissed the advances of the complainant, they may retaliate with false claims of sexual violence. We have seen retaliatory accessions stem from anger, hurt feelings, dissatisfaction, but also that are made maliciously in an effort to harm the accused.
- Embarrassment or Shame. Even if the sexual encounter was consensual, a person might make a false allegation in order to cover up the fact that they willfully participated. An example may be if the encounter was with a married person, a friend's significant other, or another person that could create a scenario where the complainant could be negatively impacted.
- Financial Incentive. While this is seen more prevalently with celebrities, they are not the only target of these schemes. A false sexual accusation is a way for a person to extort money from another. This situation is typically seen as extortion associated with extramarital affairs.
All of these motives can be uncovered and presented in court. It is critical to hire an Atlanta Sex Crime Attorney that understood how important motivations are in defending your case. If you have been falsely accused and believe one of these motives are the reason behind it, call us now.
All Elements of a Sexual Offense Must be Proven
Each criminal offense has specific elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements can include lack of consent, force, penetration, intent, and more. Our sex crime lawyers in Georgia have a deep understanding of each crime and the elements that make up that offense. We know how to methodically cast doubt upon these elements at every available opportunity during a trial. If any of the factors have not been proven at the end of the trial, we will move for a dismissal of the offense.
Our Atlanta Sex Crime Attorneys Will Make the Difference in Your Case
Being accused of a sex crime is a stressful situation. Not only is your reputation at risk but also your criminal record and possibly your freedom. You likely have questions so please visit our frequently asked questions about sex crimes in Georgia page. Then call one of our many sex crimes attorneys in Atlanta to assist with your case.
Our office has over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience. We have represented thousands of clients and received the outcome they desired. We exclusively work in criminal law, and therefore, we know the police officers, judges, prosecutors, and other government agents you likely will come into contact with. Our relationship with them is a massive advantage to your case.
You have rights during all parts of a criminal case, from the initial investigation through post-conviction proceedings. Kimberly Berry and the rest of our sex crime lawyers in Atlanta know how to make sure your rights were not violated through every stage of the process. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a member of our team.